The Bromeliad Working Group Constitution

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The Bromeliad Working Group (BWG): The BWG is an international consortium of researchers studying the ecology of bromeliads and their associated macro- and micro-faunal food webs.

Policy date: This document summarizes policies as agreed to by vote and consensus of the BWG membership on 23 September 2015. These policies may be discussed and changed at future meetings as the BWG grows and changes.


Dataset: a collection of bromeliad-level data collected by the same people in the same place in a discrete period of time. Datasets are normally collected within a single habitat.

Data owner: the person or persons who collected the data. In the case of a student or postdoctoral fellow, this includes the faculty supervisor. For other datasets collected by more than two people, the group should nominate two people to be the data owners for the group.

BWG open release date: the date at which the rest of the BWG may use the dataset without obtaining permission from the original data owner. The data is open only to the BWG, not necessarily to the general to the public.

Public open release date: the date at which the dataset becomes available for use by the public.

1 Membership

Membership is open to any researcher studying bromeliads and their associated micro- or macro- faunal food webs, providing the researcher agrees to the policies on data sharing, data use, authorship and data publication as outlined in this constitution. Additionally, members commit to respect the differences amongst us, and to act in ways that value collaboration and support over competition and criticism. The BWG is a non-hierarchical, multi-lingual and international organization.

2 Data Policies

2.1 Using and publishing data

2.1.a The BWG has two guiding principles about data sharing and use:

2.1.b Procedure for asking data-owner to use their data 2.1.c What happens if the data-owner leaves the group, and cannot be contacted, but has not published the data? 2.1.d What happens if a student data-owner and their supervisor cannot reach an agreement as to data release, use and publication? 2.1.e Labs are expected to contribute data before they can use other BWG data. 2.1.f Principles for contributing data to the database in a timely manner 2.1.g Data input should include: identification of and contact information for the data owner(s); date of data submission, BWG open release date, Public open release date, and - in the case of students or postdocs within a lab, the faculty supervisor contact information.

3 Authorship

3.1 Guiding principles: We recognize that there is a diversity of publication cultures represented within the BWG, and that these differences should be respected. In particular, we recognize that in Latin America the cost of producing data is higher because less money is available than in Western countries, and that the velocity of individual publications may sometimes be slower. Our policies on authorship are guided by recognition of these differences, and a desire to provide a system that is mutually beneficial and encourages the sharing of data.

3.1.a Role of data owners and data managers in authorships

3.1.b Given that papers with many names have highest emphasis on the first and last author, how do will we acknowledge the contribution of a few authors when there are several data co- authors? 3.1.c Who is the author/owner of data from Bio-Blitz data collections

4 Open Science

4.1.a Guiding principles: Open science should be a goal of all ecologists, because publically funded science must become the property of the public at some point. However, we recognize that there are a broad range of equally valid perspectives on when and how data becomes open to the public.

4.1.b Making BWG data public.